Organ donor numbers jump

16th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

16 July 2007, THE HAGUE (AP) - More than 12,000 people registered as organ donors in the Netherlands following a television hoax in which three contestants purportedly competed for the kidney of a dying woman, the government announced Monday.

16 July 2007

THE HAGUE (AP) - More than 12,000 people registered as organ donors in the Netherlands following a television hoax in which three contestants purportedly competed for the kidney of a dying woman, the government announced Monday.

The "Big Donor Show" made headlines around the world and was branded tasteless and unethical when its makers announced they would run a game show with a kidney as the top prize. Some Dutch lawmakers suggested banning the show.

However, the show's makers were widely praised when they revealed it was a hoax aimed at raising awareness of the plight of patients waiting for organs.

And the stunt appeared to pay off.

"As a result of the Big Donor Show, the donor register has received more than 12,000 donor forms," the Health Ministry said in a statement.

"Normally, the register receives 3,000 to 4,000 donor forms per month," it added.

About 200 people die in the Netherlands each year while waiting for kidneys, and the average wait is more than four years. Under Dutch rules, live donors must be friends or, preferably, family of the recipient.

The three "contestants" in the donor show were real kidney patients and were in on the hoax from the beginning. An actress played the role of Lisa, a woman with terminal brain cancer who wanted to donate a kidney.

During the show, 25 kidney patients were vetted by Lisa, and most were quickly dismissed for being too old, too young, smokers, ex-smokers or unemployed. Contestants gave moving pleas explaining why they should receive the organ.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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